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Nov 15, 2016

N.G.O. Reps Promise “Inclusive” Process for 13th Senator

The process of officially selecting a thirteenth senator is finally underway, eight years after being introduced as a manifesto promise by the United Democratic Party.   Twenty-two non-government organizations considered to be in good standing are spearheading the course of action which will include the nomination of candidates.  Following a meeting of N.G.O. representatives last Wednesday in Belmopan, a steering committee led by Chairperson Janelle Chanona was elected.  Coming out of that initial gathering is also a deadline for the remaining one hundred and twenty-one N.G.O.s to become compliant with the conditions of the N.G.O. Act, in order to be able to participate in the selection process.  That undertaking, according to Vice Chairman Osmany Salas, will be comprehensive, as it is anticipated that nominees will come from a cross-section of the N.G.O. community.

 

Osmany Salas

Osmany Salas, Vice Chairman, 13th Senator Committee

“From the get-go we’ve said we want this to be as inclusive as possible, so we as a group of twenty-two have said we want to give the rest of the list of one [hundred and] forty-three to get in good standing and be involved in the process.  So we’ve made it clear though, that only NGOs in good standings will be allowed to nominate, you know, someone to that senator post.  What we haven’t determined yet which we need to do this month and early next month is, for the ones that are registered, you know, but not in good standing, what will their role in the process be and will they be allowed to vote when it comes time to voting for the senator nominee or not.  So these are issues that we are looking at and we haven’t determined yet.  But in terms of who can nominate, they need to be in good standing and where the nominees can come from is from N.G.O.s in good standing; from amongst the members, their board members, their staff members…”

 

Froyla Tzalam, Executive Director, SATIIM

“…and general membership in some cases.”

 

Osmany Salas

“And the general membership, thank you.”

 

Froyla Tzalam

“So it’s a huge pool and I think, again, that was in the spirit of inclusivity because in the past, I think, N.G.O.s were only vocal or visible through their executive directors; however, behind that executive director is a whole bunch of people who play a very vital role in the running of our country and so that way we are able to include more people.  So I think we are basically being very generous, we are being more open than closed.”

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